Maritime Consulting - Maritime Expert witness - Maritime risk management

   Stephenson Maritime International

Captain Sam Stephenson, J.D.

Professional Qualifications

US Coast Guard Master Mariner License - Any Gross Tons

State Licensed Pilot - Port Everglades, Florida

US Coast Guard Federal Pilot License - Port Everglades, Florida

Commander, United States Naval Reserve 1990 - 2011 (retired)


Doctor of Jurisprudence, University of Miami School of Law (1996)

Master of Science, Marine Management, Maine Maritime Academy (1994)

Bachelor of Science, Marine Transportation, Texas A&M University (1989)

Admiral Farragut Academy, Toms River, NJ (1985)

Legal Experience

Over 17 years experience as expert witness representing plaintiffs & defendants in criminal & civil cases involving commercial and pleasure vessels. Cases have involved narrow channels, collisions, allisions, groundings, personal injury, piloting, rules of the road, shiphandling, boundary disputes, patent litigation, etc.

Teaching Experience & Course Development

Resolve Maritime Academy - Developed following senior level courses: Advanced Shiphandling, Emergency Shiphandling, Bridge Resource Management - Pilots, COLREGS, Podded Propulsion,  Legal Aspects of Piloting.

Lead instructor for: Bridge Resource Management, Integrated Bridge Systems, Legal Aspects of Piloting, COLREGS, Emergency Shiphandling, Advanced Shiphandling and Podded Propulsion.

Maritime Pilot Institute -  Lead instructor, Legal Aspects of Piloting, 2012.

Texas A&M University at Galveston - Senior Lecturer, 1996 - 1999.  Courses included:  COLREGS (Inland & International), electronic navigation, seamanship, and marine orientation & lifesaving.

Pilot Experience

Senior Pilot - Port Everglades Pilot Association, 2006 - present.   Expert shiphandler with approximately 4,500 arrivals/departures Port Everglades, Fl.   Includes: Largest passenger ships in world, cargo ships, tugs & barges, ATB's, ITB's, US Naval ships, container ships, submarines, tankers, car carriers, mega yachts, etc.  Expert shiphandler using tugs for ship assist work, docking & undocking.

Sea Experience

Master - NOAA Research Ship Rueben Lasker, 2013 (sea trials).

Master - United States Naval Ship Sirius, 2005 - 2006 (Operation Katrina Relief).

  • Received US Merchant Marine Outstanding Achievement Medal.

Master - United States Training Ship Texas Clipper II

  • 2003 -  Award of Merit -  Most improved ship in the US Maritime Administration's fleet
  • 2003 - Admiralty of the Ocean Seas Award - Successful rescue of three crew members aboard the sailing vessel "Joy" in 12' - 15' seas.

Master -  Passenger Ship Royal Star, 2000.

Chief Mate - United States Training Ship Texas Clipper II, 1996 - 1999.

Chief Mate - Passenger Ship Royal Empress, 1997.

Chief Mate - Passenger Ship Vegas Express, 1994 - 1996.

​Lieutenant - Preposition Ship First Lieutenant Alex Bonnyman, 1994.

Second Mate - United States Training Ship Texas Clipper, 1994.

Lieutenant JG - Missile Tracking Ship Range Sentinel, 1994.

Second Mate -United States Training Ship Texas Clipper, 1993.

Lieutenant JG - Amphibious Assault - USS Fresno, 1992.

Third Mate - Oil Tanker Overseas Arctic, 1991-1992.

Third Mate - Ammunition Underway Replenishment Ship Cape Alava, 1991 (Operation Dessert Storm).

Third Mate - United States Training Ship Texas Clipper, 1991.

Ensign, Destroyer Auxiliary Tender USS Yosemite, 1991.

Third Mate - Chemical Tanker Texaco California, 1990.

Shoreside Experience

Commandant of Cadets - Texas A&M Maritime Academy at Galveston. In charge of discipline and training of approximately 260 cadets in the US Maritime Service Corps of Cadets,  2001 - 2006.

Boating Experience

Over 44 years of boating experience on power boats, sailboats, and fishing boats.

  • Skipper in the Texas Ocean Racing Circuit in 1980's
  • US Navy Southwest Laser Championship - First place, 1988.
  • Over 40 years deep sea fishing experience off Florida.
  • ​Family has owned over 20 boats.

Certifications/Continuing education

  • USCG approved: Teach Leadership & Managerial Skills, 2015.
  • USCG approved: Train the Trainer, 2014.
  • USCG approved: Radar & Radar Recertification class, 2016.
  • Electronic Chart Data Information System - Resolve Maritime Academy, 2013.
  • Radar Recertification - Maritime Professional Training, 2013.
  • STCW Training - Maritime Professional Training, 2013.
  • Instructor training for Transas Navi-Sailor 4000 ECDIS, 2012.
  • Advanced Shiphandling - Manned Model, Maritime Pilot Institute, 2012.
  • Pilot Electronics - Maritime Pilot Institute, 2012.
  • Advanced Emergency Shiphandling - MITAGS, 2009.
  • Bridge Resource Management - MITAGS, 2009.
  • Seven Hour Electronic Navigation Systems - MITAGS, 2009.
  • Simulation Training - Oasis of the Seas (World's largest cruise ship) - Star Center, 2009.


2015 - Testified:  US Army Corps of Engineers Civil Works Review Board, Washington D.C. - Port Everglades Dredging Project (Unanimous approval).  

2007 - United States Merchant Marine Medal for Outstanding Achievement Award - Operation Katrina Relief (Captain - USNS Sirius).

2004 - NOAA Award for Outstanding Voluntary Ship Observing Weather (Captain - USTS Texas Clipper II).

2003 - United States Maritime Administrator Award of Merit - Most improved ship in MARAD fleet (Captain - USTS Texas Clipper II).

2003 - AOTOS Award (Admiralty of the Ocean Sea). Award for rescue in 12’ to 15’ seas of crew aboard sailing vessel (Captain - USTS Texas Clipper II).
2003 - First United States Training Ship to host a President of the United States  aboard.

Advisory Committees/Professional Associations

Navigation Safety Advisory Committee - USCG

Southeastern Admiralty Law Institute

Florida Harbor Pilots Association - President

Boston Marine Society

Fort Lauderdale Mariners Club

American Pilots Association - Trustee

Master, Mates & Pilots